También la Lluvia (Even the Rain) Review
August 27, 2012
Director Icíar Bollaín’s También la Lluvia (Even the Rain) has been incredibly well received by critics, but is it as good as they make it out to be? In many ways; yes, although the pacing just isn't quite right
As regular readers know; I’m a huge fan of world cinema. I’m constantly challenging and educating myself with new films, genres and languages. Unfortunately mainstream cinema isn’t too compatible with my tastes; often favouring money making franchises to independent releases. Thankfully in Shrewsbury we have the wonderful Old Market Hall; a small cinema that delights in showing films the multiplexes chose to ignore. They also do cake, so it’s win-win really. Recently amongst their cinematic gems they were showing the Spanish 2010 film También la Lluvia (Even the Rain). Knowing little about the premise other than it is critically acclaimed and highly regarded; I think I went in expecting a little too much.
Mexican filmmaker Sebastián (Gael García Bernal from the beautiful The Science of Sleep, the brilliant Amores Perros and Y tu Mamá También) arrives in Bolivia with executive producer Costa (Luis Tosar); determined to create a revisionist film depicting Columbus’ conquest of Latin America. Set in February and March 2000 when protests against privatisation of the water supply shook the nation; the film makers depiction of exploration and exploitation in the New World blurs with the reality of their modern day devastation. As society crumbles around them, the filmmakers push on ignoring poverty, war and violence that not only effects the country they are filming in, but many of their own cast.
También la Lluvia has a clever documentary feel about it at times, contrasting to the wonderfully picturesque scenes that form Sebastián’s movie. Occasionally so beautiful they echo moments from a Terrence Malick movie; the two styles clash wonderfully. Unfortunately for the audience, the film contains a few too many art house cliches; mainly the obvious parallels between their retelling of the colonisation and the way the crew treat their cast members. Despite hammering home this metaphor, También la Lluvia still has the tendency to leave its audience with much to think about.
As much as I wanted to love director Icíar Bollaín’s También la Lluvia; I unfortunately felt a little let down towards the climax and end of the film. Beautifully shot, incredibly well acted with a clever script and an emotive score provided by Alberto Iglesias (Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy; Le Piel Que Habito); it just lacked likeable characters and a fast enough pace to match its turbulent content. At only one hour and 44 minutes; También la Lluvia felt much longer, hitting a slump in its pacing half way through as the plot meanders slowly to the end.